Pat Benatar And Neil Giraldo Rock And Roll At Pacific Amphitheatre
Costa Mesa, CA August 3, 2011
At the age of 58, you might think Pat Benatar has had enough of the rock and roll world. She has been happily married to her husband and guitarist Neil Giraldo for 30 years and they both have been playing together for more than 32. Maybe it’s time to hang up the microphone and guitar. Think again! During Wednesday’s concert at the Pacific Amphitheatre as part of the Orange County Fair summer concert series, Benatar and her husband proved they still have the skills, the voices and the energy to deliver an entertaining show.
As the sun finally disappeared around 8:15 PM, the lights went dark and Benatar, wearing one of her signature all black outfits, and her band arrived on stage. Without an opener and only a brief introduction from local KLOS radio DJ Joe Benson, the near-capacity crowd, filled with mostly middle-aged couples, was ready to rock and party the night away.
In the first three songs alone, Benatar performed classic hits including “Shadow Of The Night” and “Invincible,” dedicated to all the troops. Her first interaction with the crowd was a friendly greeting of, “Hey you maniacs.” She went on to say that the night “had no agenda tonight. We don’t have anything to promote.”
What followed was an evening filled with classic hits and songs many fans would be surprised to hear again. For example, was anyone caught off guard when she chose to sing the 1982 song, “I Want Out” off the album, Get Nervous?
After six songs, Benatar told the crowd she would have to sit down for the next song with Giraldo because they were “getting old” and needed a rest. She told the crowd that the next song, “You Better Run,” was the second video to premiere on MTV on August 1, 1984. Boy how things have changed for the music network.
As the rock star that she is, Benatar wouldn’t be sitting for long. As “Hell Is for Children” began to play, she reminded the crowd that she sings this song at every show because it’s so important. She added, “This summer, this song is dedicated to Caylee Anthony.” Unfortunately for Benatar, this song reminded us that she’s getting a little older and her voice can’t always handle every high note.
After closing out the show with “Love Is a Battlefield,” easily the best song of the night, Benatar returned for a special encore. The three-song encore ended with Benatar belting out “Heartbreaker” interjected with Giraldo’s voice singing “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Carson. Giraldo then closed the song with a guitar solo of “The Godfather” theme. The Corleone family would have been proud.
Overall, Benatar still has the pipes to perform songs that remain classic today. Her interaction and conversations with the audience left fans, including myself, wanting to hang out with her and her husband outside of a concert venue. The concert may have only been 90 minutes long. Nonetheless, Benatar and Giraldo together remind us it’s never too old to enjoy some rock and roll.
Set List All Fired Up
Shadows of the Night
I Want Out
Promises in the Dark
Sex as a Weapon
You Better Run (Acoustic)
Hell Is for Children
Hit Me with Your Best Shot
Love Is a Battlefield Encore: Let's Stay Together
Heartbreaker / Ring of Fire / Theme from “The Godfather”